5 Surfing Tips For Beginners That’ll Keep Your Stoke Alive
Keen to get your surf on? We got inspired by athlete Bianca Buitendag, to get out there and catch a few waves! We spoke to Kurt Hendricks, an instructor at Surf Big Bay, about surfing tips for beginners.
1. Choose the longest board
It sounds a bit counterintuitive, but it’s true: the bigger the board, the more space there is for you to stand on. If you’re a beginner, you’ll need a long board to give you more room to practise standing up. Look out for a foam board, too – they’re lighter and easier for you to manipulate.
2. Hold The Board Right
To start with, your surf board is pretty heavy. If you want to avoid rolling around in your wetsuit with a heavy board plopping onto your body, here’s a neat trick: hold the board on the side of your body opposite which the wind is blowing. If the wind is blowing from left to right, hold your board on the left side of you, so the wind blows the board into your arms.
3. Stand Up Slowly
It feels like the instinctive thing to jump up as quickly as you can – but Hendricks says this isn’t always best. Standing up too quickly means you’ll lose focus on the action of balancing yourself. Instead, you’ll head face-first into the water. Make sure you centre yourself on the board too – leaning to one side means you’re more likely to fall off.
4. Embrace the foamies
“Foamies” is surfer-speak for the foamy waves that have already broken on the shore – and they’re a beginner’s best friend! They’re easier to ride and are generally away from the massive swell that are harder for novice surfers to ride.
5. Practise your agility
Surfing is an endurance sport, meaning you’re naturally going to spend hours in the water, trying to catch the best wave. But it also requires agility to stand up on the board as quick as you can, and staying there. Ride as many waves as you can for practise, but practise agility moves in the gym to strengthen your core. Try burpees, cone shuffles and sprints, or this superhero workout.